I am so delighted to be finished with the Echo Flowers Shawl. I always understood that lace pretty much looks like crap until it’s blocked, but I guess that since this is my second true lace project, that fact really hadn’t solidified in my head yet. With my Girasole, the pattern always stood out and didn’t change much after blocking. So, during the entire time I was knitting Girasole, I kept oohing and ahhing as the pattern turned out.
This shawl wasn’t like that. I knew it would look a hundred percent better after blocking, but I like to kind of see the pattern stand out as I work. The shawl turned out a weird honeycomb pattern, instead of those lovely “buds” that you see in the finished product. But I persevered, and the day came when I could block and I was not disappointed.
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace in the colorway Sunset
Needles: US 4
Finished size: Shawl
Started: June 5, 2013
Finished: July 16th, 2013
I really enjoyed the pattern, but I found personally that some of the directions were hard to understand. I am in the beginning stages of really delving into lace and need things spelled out for me and I felt that some instructions weren’t articulated efficiently. If you’re a lace veteran then you shouldn’t have a problem and the charts were not a problem at all. The pattern also allows for extra repeats of the Echo Flowers chart. so if you foresee that you will have lots of yarn left over definitely do more repeats. I did one extra, but could have gotten away with fifteen repeats versus the thirteen suggested in the pattern.
I used Malabrigo Lace from my stash and now looking back, I wish I had reconsidered. The yarn felts a lot as you work with it and carry it around, so much so that the only reason why my dropped stitches didn’t ladder down was because the stitch was felted to its neighbor. I’m sure all this felting inhibits a nice blocking in the end, but I’m not sure. The yarn is also tremendously splitty, so if you split a stitch then your work is barely hanging on by a few fibers which made me so worried for weak spots in the shawl. I will say though, the yarn made for a lightweight and airy shawl. I used around one and a half skeins of the lace yarn.
All in all I am happy happy happy